Thursday, November 20, 2014

Northern Exposure

The purpose of our road trip was to gather with my cousins to celebrate

out paddling 3 days before her birthday

the 90th birthday of my amazing Aunt Kay.

Our rendezvous location was Fort Bragg which is nearly at the top of California

where the coastline is quite different from that of Southern California.

We stayed at a funky motel right on the ocean just a short walk to the famous Glass Beach.

We almost missed it because we were expecting a little more signage than this, but the road to the beach is under construction.

Glass Beach abounds in sea glass due to years of dumping garbage into the area - we couldn't find any sand beneath the glass.

On our hunt for Glass Beach, we passed cute cottages

with gardens that made me envious because we don't have the water for my garden to still be blooming.

We strolled through the downtown area of Fort Bragg

and my aim was to find Pippi's Longstockings.

 I had done my research and finally found a store that carries Maileg.

I had my pick of elves and other Maileg products.

But, I contained myself (and my wallet) by choosing just 2 little pixies.

I was not physically able to kayak with everyone so Steve and I drove to Mendocino which provided a blast of sunshine and color.

Charming houses - many of them are B & B's,

picket fences

and bay windows abound in the quaint coastal town of Mendocino.

So many picturesque views . . .

so little time.

We scouted out the Mendocino Hotel

where we would gather later for the birthday party.

Our getaway north with my crazy family was perfect - except for the 10 hour drive home.

Monday, November 17, 2014

on the road again . . .

Steve and I took off for a long weekend last Thursday morning and we asked ourselves why it has been so long since we have taken a road trip.

We realized that this little girl is why we haven't gone away - KC was watching Lulu for us and we are told that there was an excess of moping.

Our first stop was Carmel where we stayed at L'Auberge.

We were greeted with house made sea salt caramels ( yes, we bought extras! ), incredible trail mix that came in handy on the road, a bottle of wine and a birthday card for me.

I don't know how Steve found L'Auberge, but I am glad he did.

The setting was a lovely beginning to our weekend.

We had an attic room - our room is the one with the lights.

We had time for a quick walk before dinner, but the light was changing and this cute restaurant was the only photo I was able to get.

The fence on this cute cottage, directly across the street from L'Auberge, is fun.

It was just 4 blocks to the beach so we took a stroll before we began our long drive up the coast to Fort Bragg.

Carmel is the epitome of a quaint little town.

Every single house has lovely details - no cookie cutter homes in Carmel!

I love the stone path and the wrought iron gates on this house

and the balcony looking over the garden is gorgeous.

It was a beautiful day on the beach and we would have enjoyed a stroll along the sand, 

but we had a long trek, almost to the top of California, ahead of us.

So we headed back up Ocean Avenue to the hotel.

Steve teased me about stopping to take pictures, but I love the cut out in the green gate.

The sun was shining on this yellow gate so my picture isn't great, but I love the heart cut out.

Flowers were blooming everywhere although one woman told us that Carmel is suffering from the drought just like much of California and that they are trucking water into town.

Right next to L'Auberge is City Hall which is where Clint Eastwood spent his time when he served as mayor of Carmel.

I love the railing along the steps.

Our walk was short so my pictures do not even give a glimpse to the beautiful cottages of Carmel - it is definitely worth a visit.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Slowly getting ready for the holidays

Slowly, but surely, I am getting back my energy and doing projects around the house.

I don't usually decorate much for Thanksgiving, but this year we invited JP's future in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner so I wanted to make the house festive.

Some dried flowers from Michael's, a chalkboard tag and a burlap bag dress up the front door.

The weather was cool today and our Dutch door was closed  - this view gives a different perspective on the colors in our house.

Finally, I finished decorating the mantel.

I took a lazy approach to the banner by using pages torn from a book, stickers for the letters and just folding the paper over the twine.

Today, I had time to play a little in the garden.

The bench beneath the dining room window was looking a little sad

so I added some ivy that I hope will start twisting and turning around the bench.

For the holidays, I will swap the wooden balls for Christmas ornaments and hang decorations from the ivy.

The one thing I have been doing a lot of lately is embroidery and crocheting.

When I get tired and have to rest, I grab my sewing basket and keep my fingers busy.

I am using up leftover fabric and tracing the designs on with pencil.

This project will be a table runner for Christmas

and this is one of 8 napkins I am embroidering for our Thanksgiving table.


I will be working on the napkins in the car on Thursday as we drive the coast of California to Carmel for a stay in this beautiful spot.

I leave you with a collage of my day on Saturday when my sweet daughter treated me to a spa day at the Ojai Valley Inn - mine are the feet on the right.